Narco-analysis as a form of Torture and Democratic Rights

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This document was prepared by PUDR on the occasion of Dr. Ramanthan Memorial Meeting, dated 15th September 2007.

The dubious practice on injecting drugs such as scopolamine, sodium amytal and sodium pentothal has been practised and discarded by a number of countries over the last century, it has been prevalent in India for only half a decade. However it is gaining popularity in police investigations and has been used in a number of high-profile cases, including that of Abu Salem, Abdul Karim Telgi, the Hyderabad bomb blasts and the Nithari killings. Narco-analysis has also increasingly been used against activists, including against Arun Ferreira, Ashok Reddy, Naresh Bansod and Dhanendra Bhurle, who were arrested on 9 May 2007 by the Nagpur police under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

It is inevitable that in the coming years, targeting of activists by the use of narco-analysis as a form of torture is only going to increase.

PUDR holds the view that narco-analysis and other ‘truth detection’ techniques including brain-mapping violate constitutional rights including the right against self-incrimination and amount to torture. THerefore, We demand that narco-analysis, brain-mapping and other similar ‘truth-detection’ techniques presently being used be completely stopped by the Government, that doctors stop carrying it out; that Magistrates reject police requests for such interrogation and that the Indian Supreme Court rule against the constitutionality of such testing.

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